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Author: Viret, Pierre, 1511-1571.
Title: The firste parte of the Christian instruction, and generall so[m]me of the doctrine, conteyned in the holy Scriptures wherein the principall pointes of the religion are familiarly handled by dialogues, very necessary to be read of all Christians. Translated into Englishe, by Iohn Shute, accordyng to the late copy set forth, by th'author Maister Peter Viret. 1565. Ouersene and perused, accordyng to the order appointed, by the Queenes maiesties iniunctions.
Publication info: Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan, Digital Library Production Service
2012 November (TCP phase 2)

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Print source: The firste parte of the Christian instruction, and generall so[m]me of the doctrine, conteyned in the holy Scriptures wherein the principall pointes of the religion are familiarly handled by dialogues, very necessary to be read of all Christians. Translated into Englishe, by Iohn Shute, accordyng to the late copy set forth, by th'author Maister Peter Viret. 1565. Ouersene and perused, accordyng to the order appointed, by the Queenes maiesties iniunctions.
Viret, Pierre, 1511-1571., Shute, John, fl. 1562-1573,

Imprinted at London: By Iohn Day, dvvellyng ouer Aldersgate, beneath Saint Martins, [1565]
Alternate titles: Instruction chrestienne et somme generale de la doctrine comprinse ès sainctes Escritures. Part 1. English Instruction chrestienne et somme generale de la doctrine comprinse ès sainctes Escritures. Part 1.
A translation of the first part of: Instruction chrestienne et somme generale de la doctrine comprinse ès sainctes Escritures.
Reproduction of the original in the British Library.
Pages 171-76 bound out of order.
Subject terms:
Christian life -- Early works to 1800.
Theology, Doctrinal -- Early works to 1800.

title page
❧ To the honorable the Lord Ro∣bert Dudley, Baron of Denbigh, Earle of Licester, Maister of her Maiesties horse, and knight of th' order: and one of her highnes preuye Councel. Iohn Shute, vvisheth health vvith increase of honor and Godly vnderstandyng,
John Shute, to the faithfull reader, Grace mercy, and peace from God the father, thorowe our Lord Iesus Christ.
dialogue 1
The content of the first Dialogue, Intituled of the holy Inquisition, Depen∣daunces, or the Accessories.
The first Dialogue is entituled, the holy Inquisition, or the Dependaunces.
Of the blindnesse and disorder that is among men, in the mat∣ter of Religion, and of their Saluation.
Of the Authours and causes of all order and disorder amonge men, and of the goodnes of God, and of the ingratitude & malice of men.
Of the cause of the fall and uyne of mankind, and of the re∣medy and meane hovv to recouer the same.
Of the difficultie that is in men to acknovvledge their er∣rours and faultes, and of the argumentes that they hold of aūcient custom, and of the authoritie of their predecessors, and of auncientie, and of the multitude, vvherevvith they arme them selues.
Of the proces that men brynge agaynste God, and of the shyftes that they seeke to cloke their rebellion agaynste hy vvorde.
Hovv that al false Religion may be vvel defēded: if that anti¦quitie & the authoritie of predecessours may haue place.
Of the argumentes taken of the multitude.
Of the argumentes of tyme auncientie.
Of the fall of the deuill, and of his children, vvhose prede∣cessour he is.
Of the predecessours of the vvicked and infidels, and hovve the auncientie of sinnes doth procure Gods vvrath vpon men, and doth not excuse them.
Hovv that none may so vvell alledge aūciētie, as the faithful may, & hovv that al the allegatiōs of the vnfaithful, are no¦thing els but clokes, to couer their hipocrisie & vvickednes.
Of the langage that is in the heart of the hypocrites & vvic∣ked, and hovv they cloke it before the vvorld.
Of the persecutours of the veritie, and of the diuerse sortes of them.
Of such as persecute the truth of a purposed malice, and of the sinne agaynst the holy Ghost, or sinne to death.
Of those that resiste the truth vvittingly, and do persecute it agaynst their ovvne consciences, to please men therby, and to get the riches of this vvorlde, and of the calamities of these dayes.
Of such as do resist the truth, & persecute the same through ignoraunce, and zeale vvithout vnderstandyng, and of the excuse of the ignoraunt.
Hovv that the vvāt of the knovvledge of God, & his truth, raigneth not in man, vvithout his great faulte.
Of the greate care and diligence that is in men to get those thynges that do appertaine to this present life, and of their negligence and carelesnesse that they doo vse, as touchyng those thinges that appartayne to the life eternall.
Of the diligence that is in men to do euyl, and of their neg∣ligence to doo vvell.
Of the vices that make men ignoraunt of God and of hys truth, and hovv the seruauntes of God continually bring accusation agaynst them.
Of such as doo contemne the knovvledge of God, euen as though they dyd knovv all thinges that appertaine to true Christianitie, and also of the knovvledge that men maye attaine vnto in this life, and hovv to encrease it.
Of the true knovvledge of God, and of the true maner hovv to knovv hys vvyll, and of the contemplatiue and actiue knovvledge of the same.
Of the true study of the holy scriptures, and of the true fruite that commeth of the same.
Of suche Christians as are ignoraunt of the vvorde of God, and of those that abuse theyr knovvledge in the same.
Hovv much necessary the study of the vvord of God is, for all men during this life, hovve apte and hovv vvyse so euer they be.
Of the desired ignorance, and of such as are vvillinglye ignorant.
How that the publicatiō that God hath made of his vvord, and the declaration that he hath geuē of himself and of hysvvill euen from the beginning, maketh the ignoraunce of men to be vvithout excuse.
Of the meanes by the vvhich God hath, and doth declare himself dayly to men.
Of those that cloke their rebellion agaynste the vvorde and vvill of God, vnder colour of obedience vvhich they ovve to the lavves that theyr princes haue made agaynste the same: & of such as commit the charge of their consciences to their curates and pastours.
Of those vvhich cōmit idolatries to their princes, preferring their lawes before the lawes of God, & what autoritie Gods word hath ouer all men, and ouer all their lawes.
Of the office of good princes and good subiectes.
Hovve those men obeye the deuill, and not their princes, vvhich obey any lavves, by the vvhich it is forbidden men truely to serue God.
Of the lavvfull lavves and statutes of Christian princes, and vvhat men ought to consider in them.
Of such as are vnfaithfull seruauntes in princes Courtes: and of their Councels agaynst God, and of those princes, that do rather fauour such seruauntes, then those that are of cō∣science vvhole and sounde.
Of the Iudgement of the Christian doctrine, and of those by vvhom it must be reported, & of the princes duety in that behalfe, and of the faulte of those that in the same, despise the Councell of the seruauntes of God.
Of the causes vvhy the princes should enquire of the vvill of God at the mouth of his Ministers, and of the giftes of God, vvith the vvhiche he endueth his Ministers.
Of the dishonour that those kynde of men doo vnto God, vvhiche doo not vouchesafe to enquire of his vvill at the hādes of his Ministers, and vvhat authoritie the Ministerie of the Churche hath ouer all men.
Of the meane and order that princes should kepe in iudge∣ment of thinges, appertaining to Religion, and to the refor¦mation of the same.
Hovve men ought to haue greater care for those matters that appertayne to Religion: then for any others, and the reasons vvhy.
Of those men that make greater accoumpt of their purses, then of their consciences, and of the daūger into the which they cast thēselues, that cōmit such charge to false teachers, and they them selues to haue no great regard to the same.
Of the care that euerye man ought to haue, to knovve the vvay of saluation, and hovv they ought to bevvare of false Prophetes and seductors of the people.
Hovv that the admonitions vvhich are vvritten in the ho∣ly Scriptures, agaynst the false Prophets, do make them to be vvithout excuse, that suffer them selues to be seduced by them.
Of suche as alvvayes excuse them by theyr great busines, and can neuer fynde conuenient tyme to hearken to the vvorde of God, and to laye their handes to his vvorke
Of the meanes vvherby mens busines may be aduaunced or hindred.
Of mockers vvhich loue not the Gospell, and yet make the courte vnto it, and make a shevv as though they had great deuotion to it.
VVhat diligence men oughte to vse in follovving that vo∣cation vvherunto God hath appoynted them, & of those Epicurians that are amonge the Christians, and of the di∣uersitie of them.
Of the testimonyes by the vvhich men declare them selues to be very Epicurians, and of the prouidence and iustice of God against their false opinions.
Of the lighte of Gods vvorde vvhich is geuen to men, and of the nature of the same, and of the contempte that is a∣mong men.
Of the authoritie of holy Scriptures, and in vvhat sort God hath declared his vvill vnto men, and hovve much it agre∣eth vvith his prouidence.
Of the moste deuely she peruersitie of the Epicurians, and hovve they doe agree vvith the doctrine of Mahomet, vvho is of opinion that all men shall bee saued in theyr ovvne lavve.
Of mans traditions and of the rule vvhich is set before vs in the holy Scriptures, of all religion and doctrine.
Hovv vve oughte to iudge of that, vvhere God forbyddeth vs to doe that vvhich semeth good in our ovvne opinion: and of the assuraunce of our consciences by the vvorde of God, vvithout the vvhihe nothyng can please God that man can doe.
Of the errour of those that thinke that the vvorkes vvhich they do contrary to the vvill of God, are yet notvvithstā∣ding agreable to him, because that they do them in a good intent.
To vnderstand vvhether God haue ordeyned sondry Reli∣ligions for men, and of the diuersitie of mens lawes, accor∣dyng to the diuersitie of nations and countreis.
Of the causes of the diuersitie of the positiue lavves, and of the difference, that is betvvene those lavves, vvhiche are gyuen as touchyng corporall thinges, and those whiche do appertayne to spirituall thinges.
Of the agreement that is betvvene the positiue lawes, & the ceremonial lavves, and of the true vsage of them.
VVhat libertie God hath gyuē, in the vsage of ceremonies, and of the meane that must be kept in the same.
dialogue 2
The contentes of the second Dia∣logue named the waitinge for the Councell, or the Nevvtrall Gospellers, to vvit, suche as vvill deale betvvene the true & false Religion & doctrine.
The second Dialogue, intituled the waiting for the Councell, or the Newtralles.
Of the reasōs vvhich cause many to desire & vvait for a Coun¦cel: and of the trouble that the difference vvhich is in Chri∣stendome in matters of Religion, doth bryng to simple and ignoraunt consciences.
Hovve that the difference that is in Christendome, in mat∣ters of Religion, should not stay men from the diligent en∣quirie of the vvyl of GOD, but shoulde rather prouoke them thereunto.
VVhat profite the Churche of God may receaue of Coun∣celles, and of theyr issue.
Of the hope that men may haue of the Councell, in these dayes, and of those that there shal assemble, and of the issue thereof.
Of the meanes that the enemyes of the truth doe vse for the maintenaunce of their kingdome, and their false re∣ligion, and of the hope which they haue geuen by their Councel of Trent for the reformation of the Christi∣an church.
Of the daunger into the vvhich they put them selues that attend onely vpon the councell, without seeking any other reformation, both in them selues and in the church.
Of the hope that men may haue of those Christian princes vvhich do reigne at this present for to reforme the church by the meane of a generall councell: and of the negligence and vvante that is in that behalfe, euen in those churches vvhich glory of the Gospell.
Of the negligence and vvante that is in the ministers of the church, and generally in all other estates, wherby the refor∣mation of the church is hindred.
Of the empeachmentes that men geue one to an other in the reformation of the church: and of the punyshment of God vpon them for the same cause.
Of the difficultie that is in the vvorlde at this day, to assem∣ble meete men for a lavvfull councell, and of the example of the auncient Christians concerning their fath tovvards the doctrine of the Apostles.
Of the hindraunce vvhich the Christians doe cause in the reformation of the church, more then all others, and of the ende vvhereunto the suppostes of the popishe church tend vnder the title and name of a Councell.
VVhat Councell the true Christians ought to folovve, in wayting for the generall Councell.
Of those vvhiche vvould agree the doctrine of Iesus Christ, and that of Antichrist together, and of the forme of doc∣trine, compounded to such an ende, called Interum, and of the vanitie of the authors of the same.
For vvhat cause and reason, the doctrine of the Interim, can not be reeiued neither into the Churche of Christ, ne yet into the Popes Churche.
Of such Christians as be Nevvters and indifferent, vvhiche folovv the doctrine of the Interim: and of the mixture of the true & false doctrine, & hovv much it displeaseth god.
For vvhat cause the Interim hath taken his name of an ad∣uerbe, and hovve in sondry vvise he may be applied.
VVhat profitte they vvhich haue beene instructed in the vvorde of God, may receaue by the Councells: and vvhat vertue and authoritie they haue to bring men to the fayth.
Hovv vve maye not bee the disciples of men, but of Iesus Christ: & hovv that the vvord of god taketh not his autho¦ritie of the church, but the church taketh hys of the vvorde of God.
Hovv the vvord of God doth allovve and authorise it self.
VVhat goodnes men maye receaue by a good Councell, and vvhat euill may happen vnto them by an euill Coun∣cell, accordinglye as they haue bene instructed in the Chri∣stian religion.
In vvhat thing, and hovve farre the good Councells maye bridle the audacitie of the vvicked, & geue quietnes to men
VVhat fruite the Church maye receaue of lavvfull Coun∣cells, and vvhat mixture there is in her of good and bad, and vvhat is her office tovvarde the one and the other.
VVhat prayse is due to good princes & Magistrates, which employ them selues in the reformation of the Church, and vvhat fruite it getteth by their labor and office, as vvell for the cause of the faithfull, as of the hypocrites: and of the chaunges that happen in Religion, accordyng to the prin∣ces that raygne.
Of the hypocrisie of those that depende onely vpon men, in matter of Religion, and of the proofe therof.
In vvhat sorte vve may esteme men for masters and tea∣chers, and in vvhat maner vve are made the disciples of Ie∣sus Christ, or of men.
Of the nature and vertue of true fayth, and vvhat difference there is betvvene it and opinion.
Of the honor that is devve, to good and true teachers in the Churche, and of the meane that vve ought to kepe, to the ende that vve do gyue neither to much, ne yet to little cre∣dite to men: & hovv perillous a thing it is, to trust to much to a mans ovvne iudgemente.
Of the difference that men ought to put betvvene the doc∣trine and vvritings of the Apostles and Prophets, and of those that came after them, and the cause therof.
VVhat rule S. Augustine geueth concerning Councells and the vvritinges of the auncient Fathers.
dialogue 3
The effect of the thyrd Dialogue intitled the authoritie of Councells: making mention of the auncient doctors and decrees.
The thyrd Dialogue, intitled, the authoritie of Councells.
Of the asistance of the holy Ghost in lavvful Councels: and of his giftes: and of the perpetual conseruation of the truth in the church.
VVhat thynges there are to be desired in Councells, yea e∣uen in those Councells vvhich haue beene moste excellent and lavvfull of all those that haue bene celebrated and hol∣den since the tyme of the Apostles.
Of the vveakenesses that haue bene founde at the Councell of Nice, in them that vvere there gathered and assembled, and vvhat holy and excellent personages there vvere pre∣sent at the same.
Of the greate contearieties, discordes & dissentiōs that haue ben in many of the auncient Councels, betvvene the By∣shops, and the Ministers of the Churche.
Of the contradiction of the Popes, and of their Decrees and Ordinaunces, the one sorte contrarie to the other.
Of the contrarietie of the Decrees of many Councels tou∣chyng the Mariage of the Ministers of the Churche.
Of the contrarietie of certaine Councels, concerning the for¦biddyng and difference of Meates.
Of the Decrees of the Councell of Constāce, and Basle, tou∣chyng the supper of the Lorde vnder both kyndes, and of the supremicie of the Pope, and of the Romishe Churche, and of their contrarietie.
Of the contrarietie that hath bene in many Councels, con∣cernyng Images.
Of the Councell of Carthage, concernyng the Baptisme ad∣ministred by heretikes.
Of the sentence and opinion of the Papistes concerning the generall and particuler Councells, and of the diuersitie of their decrees.
Of the errours and abuses that haue beene brought into the church, vvhat meane there ought to be had for the correc∣tion and amendment of such Councells, vvhen nede shall requyre.
Of those that vvayte vpon the Prelates of the Church, and vvoulde haue them to correcte the abuses that therein are: and vvhat libertye euery man hadde to sovve and bryng them into the Church: and vvhat agreement & difference there is betvvene the auncient Heathen Emperours, and the Popes, and their Councells and assemblyes.
Of the thinges vuhich of them selues are alreadye sufficient∣ly resolued among all men, vvithout looking for any reso∣lution of the Councell: and of the negligence and careles∣nesse that is in vs to put them in vse, and to gouerne oure selues according to the same.
VVhat lihertie Christians haue to reforme the abuses that are among them, accordyng to the povver and authoritye vvhich God hath geuen them.
Of the passages vvhich the papists alledge to authorise their Councells, and of the true meaning of these same.
Hovve that the holy Ghost, is neither subiect nor bounde to any kinde of person or estate.
VVhat assembles the faithfull do make, and of the auncient Decrees, concernyng the celebration of Councels.
Of the Councels of the heretikes, vvhiche did cōdempne the Councels of the faythfull.
Hovve it doth appeare by the contradictions, vvhiche haue ben in the auncient Councels, that the Councels may erre, and hovv their conclusions, haue in maner alvvayes bene conformable to the opiniōs of those vvhich haue presided in them, or haue bene the strongest.
Hovve there is no hope that the Christians, shall euer haue any lavvfull Councell, and reformation in the Churche, by the meanes of the Pope, or of any of his, if they beare any authoritie there.
VVhat prayers all men ought to make for their princes, to the end that they maye employe that povver vvhich God hath geuen them, to the ayde of the people of God: vvhat a blessing of God it is vpō such people as haue such princes.
VVhat Councell they ought to follovve, vvhich haue prin∣ces that are tyrauntes and enemyes to the Gospell: and of the preparacion to the crosse for the same.
Of the studye of holy Scriptures, and of the decree vvhiche vvas made in the Councell of Nice concerning the same: and of the excellencie and authoritye of the Bible, and of his decrees.
Of the true Councels vvhich do excell al the reste in autho∣rity & ar the rule by the which al the rest must be examined.
Of the authoritie of the princes and of the Popes concer∣ning the Councells: and of the Popes tyrannie in that be∣halfe, and vvhat aduauntage he hath at this present.
Of the manner of the proceeding of the Papistes in their Councels, and of their presidentes, and of the princes Am∣bassadours that are sent thither, and of their instructions, and of the practise of the Pope and his, and of the disputa∣tions that they haue there.
Of the prudence that is required in the disputations, of the Councels of the Papistes, and hovve daungerous it is, for those that behonest to be there.
Of the resolutions and conclusions of the Papisticall Coun∣cels, and vvhat personages they are that haue voyces in thē: and vvhat scoole masters the Bishops haue there, & vvhat order they do there obserue.
Of the matters of discorde that may be in the Councels of the Papistes: & of the causes of the agreement that is amōg them: & hovv daungerous it is for those that do maintaine the cause of the truth.
Of the practises of the Pope, to haue the determination and conclusions of the Councels, and the places vvherein they are holden, at his vvill and commaundement.
Of the ignoraunce of the Popishe Bishops, and hovv farre they are of from that, that the vvorde of God and the aun∣cient Canons require of them.
Of the finall conclusion and resolution of the Councell of the Papistes, and the solempnitie of the daye vvhere∣upon it is done.
Of the order that the Bishoppes do obserue in geuing their consent in the Councels: and of the ende, and of the cur∣ses of the same.
dialogue 4
The sum of the. 4. Dialogue intituled the resolu∣tion of the Councels: to vvit, vvherin the finall resolution of al Christian Councels, and of Christian doctrine is had.
The fourth Dialogue intitled, the resolucion of Councels.
Of the charge whiche God gaue to Moyses, and of the au∣thority of the lawe by him geuen, and of the whole doc∣trine of the Patriarches and Prophetes.
How that the allovving of the doctrine of the olde Testa∣ment, is also the allovving of that of the nevv: and hovv the nevv expoundeth the old.
Of the causes for the vvhich God did allovve and confirme vvyth such authoritie the ministery of Moyses: and hovv hard it is to bring men vnder those lavves, by the vvhich mens liues ought to be gouerned and directed.
Of the faynings and subtilties that the Pagan lavv makers, and the false prophets haue vsed, to authorise their lavves and doctrine, vnder the cloke of Gods name.
Of the testimonies that God hath geuen to Moyses of hys vocation, and how necessary it vvas.
Of the declarations and aduertismentes that God did gyue to the people of Israel, before he gaue them hys lavv by Moyses.
VVhat tokens God gaue of his presence in the mount Sy∣nay, vvhen he did geue and publish hys lavv.
Of the signification of the signes vvhich God dyd geue in geuing his lavv, and of the reasons vvhy, and hovv much they are agreable vvith the nature of the lavv.
Of the vsage of the lavv, to lead men to Iesus Christ, by the knovvledge of their synnes.
Of the cause vvherfore God vvould make the people of Is∣rael afraide by those signes vvhich he gaue in the mounte Synay.
Of the trompet vvhich did sound in the mounte Synay, & of the meanyng therof and of the blessings and cursings of the lavv, and of the publishing of the same.
Of the last and general iudgement of God, and of the sen∣tence that shall be geuen ther, vvithout respect of person, as vvel vpon the faithful, as on the infidels.
Of the sanctification and preparacion that God did require of hys people, vvhen he vvould giue them his lavv, & of the same that is required of vs to prepare vs to receyue hys vvoord.
Of the fastinges and abstinences, and of the differences of daies and meates vvhyche they obserue in the Popish, churche, and of their originall and foundation, and of the defaulte that therin is.
Of the sobrietie, abstinence, and honestye that is requyred of the Christians in their assembles in the Church.
Of the Councell that vvas holden in the Mounte Syon, and of the conference of the same vvyth that vvhyche vvas holden in the Mounte Synay: and of Moyses, and of Iesus Christe, and of the Ministery of the lavve, and of the Gospell.
Of the manifestation of God in Christ.
Of the last seale, and of the laste declaration and confirmati∣on of the doctrine of God, and of the nature and vertue of the holy Ghost.
Of the examination of the true Christian doctrine: and of the spring and laste determination of the same, and of the curses agaynst those vvhich do falsefye it.
Of the vengeaunce of God agaynste those that despyse the Gospell.
Of the difference that men do commonly put betvvene the lavve of rigor, and the lavve of grace, and of the abuse that therein is.
Of the difference and diuersitie of the lavves of Moyses, and of their nature.
Of the abolishing of the lavve of Moyses, and of the olde Testament, and of the things vvhich ought to be conside∣red therin.
Of the difference that is betvvene the faythfull and the vn∣faythful, concerning the blessing and the curse of the lavv, through Iesus Christ.
Of the benefit of Iesus Christ, and of the good thinges that vve receiue by him, and vvhat freedome of the lavve he bringeth to the faythfull.
In what sorte we ought to vnderstande that the lawe is not ordayned for the iust and the faythful, but for the vniust and faythles.
Of the causes for the whych the vnfaythfull remayne styll subiect to the lawe, and wherein the faythfull may also be subiect vnto it.
Of the commoditie that the faythfull may also haue of the law, and in how many sortes.
Of the agreement of the lavve and the Gospell, of the olde Testament & of the nevv: and of the turning or chaunge of the lavve of rigour into the lavve of grace, & of the lavv of grace into the lavve of rigour.
Of the bokes of the great and generall Councels of God, contayning the decrees and Canons of the same.
The table of this woorke, contayning the principall matters of the same booke. The first number declareth the page or syde of the leafe, the second the Section.
✚ Imprinted at London by Ihon Day, dwelling ouer Alders∣gate, beneath Saint Martins. (∴)